Multi-Talented Doctor Completes Ice, Water, Fire Challenge

Aegean Sea Swim Crossing – Peloponnese to Crete. Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos from Dimitris Giouzepas on Vimeo.Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos, M.D., Ph.D. has studied all over the world – Florida, California, England, and Scotland. He received a Master’s degree in Human Physiology under Extreme Environments at King’s College London and then went on to pursue a Doctorate degree at the University of Glasgow, researching and specializing in Human Medical Physiology in the Cold and at High Altitude.

He has completed research projects and field studies in the Scottish Highlands, the European Alps, and the Himalayas. Following the successful completion of his Ph.D., he returned to his native Greece to study medicine and then worked in hospitals in South Africa, the United States, Scotland and England where he focused in the fields of General and Trauma Surgery, Accident and Emergency Medicine, and General Practice. He is certified in Expedition Medicine and Travel Medicine.

So with all that education and experience, it is not surprising that he ultimately became the first person in history to complete the Ice, Water, Fire Challenge up Mount Everest, across the English Channel and the Sahara Desert.

In 2000, he crossed the English Channel in a fast 9 hours 20 minutes, earning the Channel Swimming Association‘s Rolex Award. In 2004, he climbed Mount Everest via the notoriously difficult northern side route where he served as the Hellas Everest 2004 scientific advisor and high-altitude climbing medic. This month, he completed the Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert, considered to be the toughest run in the world, in 39 hours 14 minutes, finishing 323rd out of more than 1,200 runners.

Along the way in 2011, he swam 101 km from southern part of mainland Greece to the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea in 28 hours 16 minutes in a wetsuit. The solo swim was a charity swim for Orizodas from Chania in Crete, a local organization which provides support and looks after children and adults battling cancer.

Professor Ian Swingland said of the remarkable man, “Dr. Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos is unique. There is no one like him on the planet having climbed Everest, swum The Channel and the Aegean, and now completed the Marathon des Sables, the toughest race in the world. He personifies the spirit and endeavors of aspiring young people.The world would be a sadder place without the likes of Georgios and his inspiration; difficulties strengthen the mind, as labour does the body.”

Everest 2004, Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos from Dimitris Giouzepas on Vimeo. Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones